July 11th 2010: the 10th edition of the Zugspitz Extrem Berglauf, a 17.9km trail race with in total 2'235 meters ascent up the Zugspitze, the highest mountain of Germany. Please click on Zugspitzlauf for the official website (in German)
In his second participation in this tough race, Michael Grau offered to run on behalf of Help-for-Hope (a first for Michael)! Fantastic Michael, welcome to the team!! Picture below: Michael ready to take on Zugspitze, sporting Help-for-Hope's tattoo on his arms
Below is Michael's story from the race:
"The Zugspitze was climbed the first time about 190 year ago on April 27. 1820. Even though it is not known how long this first ascent took it was the same path as for 10. xtreme race from Ehrwald (Austria) at 1020m to the top of the Zugspitze (2.929m) alongside the German Austrian border passing by Gatterl, Knorrhut and Sonnalpin and finally reaching the top. The distance is 17.9 km and 2300 altitude meters.
The start was at 9.15 the weather being sunny and hot. On the first 5km the ascent was 800 altitude meters, followed by some steep descents. Then after the Knorrhut the last 5km are going up for another 800 altitude meters. The trekking guide for that region gives a guidance of 8 hours to reach the top. Nevertheless the first in the race finished in unbelievable 2:06 hours. An even faster alternative is the cable car which takes about 10 minutes... Picture to the left: start gate
For me it was the 3rd time and I finished in 3:26 hours always having in mind the big challenge 3 weeks later; the 100km in the Chiemgau. On the way up, there is hardly any part where you can rest and once you passed the Knorrhut on 2050 meters you can see the steepest part of the whole race, 400 altitude meters on 1km with some light climbing parts in between. Before you reach this final tough part you pass Sonnalpin at 2600 m. Here is a chance for people to step out of the race taking the cable car to the top. Picture to the right: up there leads the race, traight to the top. Quite impressive!
During this last 400 altitude meters from Sonnalpin where you ran/walk on a sandy ground the legs start hurting, you feel the attitude and breathing is getting difficult. Here I had only one wish a Bavarian Weißbier!! There are very little things which make you happy in these moments. Once you pass the little climbing part you hear the people on the top of Germany shouting and supporting the runners. An energy boost for the last few meters until reaching the Weißbier bar." Picture to the left: Michael at the top of Zugspitze, well done!!
Congratulations Michael on this very impressive feat, and Prosit for the Weissbier ;-)